‘Time will tell’ what legacy Peter Robinson has left: David Ford

First Minister Peter Robinson arrives to work at Stormont Castle for the first time since his announcment over his wife's 'Iris ' affair in 2010
First Minister Peter Robinson arrives to work at Stormont Castle for the first time since his announcment over his wife's 'Iris ' affair in 2010

Peter Robinson is to be commended for his role in helping establish the power-sharing institutions but it is too soon to say what his legacy will be, the Alliance leader has said.

David Ford said “time will tell” how the contribution of outgoing DUP leader will be judged.

Alliance leader David Ford

Alliance leader David Ford

“Although we were not always on the same page, I tended to get on well with Mr Robinson, and applaud him for his role in helping the Assembly return in 2007 and continuing power-sharing with Sinn Fein.

“However, despite this week’s deal being dubbed his legacy, there remains a question over whether we actually have stability in our institutions.

“There were no resolutions for victims, only promises on paramilitarism, parades and flags, and massive questions over the viability of the economic package included,” he said.

Alliance candidate Naomi Long pulled off a massive electoral upset in 2010 when she took the East Belfast Westminster seat Peter Robinson had held for 31 years.

Her success sparked a particularly acrimonious period in Alliance/DUP relations that was still evident when Gavin Robinson reclaimed the seat for the DUP earlier this year.

With the help of a DUP/UUP pact, he won the seat by more than 2,500 votes. In his victory speech, Mr Robinson said he was delighted the “last five long years” were over.

Mr Ford said Peter Robinson was standing down with many questions unanswered, and added: “Mr Robinson has also mentioned taking East Belfast back but left out the circumstances of it being due to a five-party pact which barely beat Naomi Long.

“Peter Robinson will not decide his own legacy but rather be judged on the delivery of what he has helped establish. The DUP now has several questions to answer about the state of their partnership with Sinn Fein going forward.”